Eastern Caribbean braces for Tropical Storm Ernesto
MIAMI, Aug 2, CMC – Six Caribbean countries are now under a tropical storm warning as depression five strengthens and develops into the fifth tropical storm of the season.
Tropical Ernesto, the fifth tropical storm of the 2012 hurricane season moved towards the Windward Islands on Thursday night with the governments of Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica issuing a storm warning for their nationals.
The French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe have also upgraded its warning from a tropical storm watch to a tropical storm warning and the Miami-based national Hurricane Center (NHC) said that “interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of this system”.
The NHC said the storm, which is located 12.8 north, 56.6 west or about 295 miles east of the Windward Islands is moving towards the west near 22 miles per hour (mph).
“This general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours (and) on the forecast track, the center of the storm should be near the Windward Islands by late tonight or early Friday”.
The NHC said that the maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts and that ‘some slight strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours”.
In its 5.oo pm bulletin the NHC said that tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center and that total rainfall accumulations of two to three inches with isolated maximum amounts of five inches are expected across the Windward Islands through Friday.